Value $895 (Gold), $995 (Diamond), $299/yr Composer Cloud subscription
Hollywood Orchestra is definitely one of many most-used pattern libraries on the planet. By the accessibility and recognition of EastWest‘s subscription service, Composer Cloud X, the corporate has introduced an enormous choice of high-quality devices to creators who beforehand would have been priced out of the market. In flip, Hollywood Orchestra has grown a big, devoted person base.
That is why it’s all of the extra pleasing that EastWest has resisted the urge to relaxation on its laurels. As an alternative, it has simply launched a hefty replace to its flagship library, a very new software program engine to energy it, and a brand new orchestration instrument that’s positive to each divide and delight music makers.
Sounds new and renovated
With the Opus version, EastWest has added over 130 GB of newly recorded content material and wholly overhauled the older samples by remixing and reprogramming.
When it comes to new content material, first up is the strings. The brand new ’18 violins’ patch has a good looking, wealthy unison sound and the legato patches, particularly, really feel like a substantial enchancment over the earlier model. A particular spotlight is the addition of some prolonged string strategies, comparable to col legno battuto, labelled within the library as ‘Penderecki’ in honour of the composer who made the sound well-known.
The outdated brass part was at all times a robust promoting level for Hollywood Orchestra, and the brand new ‘2 trombones’ patch is equally glorious. The dynamic layers really feel extremely life like, letting you simply create stunning crescendos. There’s additionally a ‘2 trumpets’ patch to play with, and right here EastWest appears to have severely elevated the dynamic vary, letting the trumpets rise up to that shiny, brassy timbre that may reduce proper by an orchestral texture.
Beforehand, the woodwinds part was an plain weak spot within the Hollywood Orchestra library. An excessive amount of work has gone into rectifying this and, throughout the whole Opus version, it’s within the woodwinds that you just’ll hear the largest enhancements.
The sound high quality is undeniably higher and, crucially, there at the moment are woodwind ensemble patches – a notable omission from the outdated version. These new ensembles, consisting of three flutes, three clarinets, and three bassoons, convey EastWest a lot nearer to the competitors’s sound high quality. As soon as once more, the brand new legato mode makes the entire part really feel way more satisfying to play.
Lastly, a brand new ensemble patch offers you an awesome cross-section of the orchestra and is ideal for making a fast sketch of your rating.
The Opus Engine: Browser
Nice as the brand new and up to date recordings are, the Opus participant is the true drawcard right here. EastWest has listened carefully to its person base and are available to the desk with a number of crowd-pleasing enhancements, together with optimised efficiency, a streamlined workflow and a few time-saving efficiency instruments.
Stand out tweaks and additions embrace the brand new quick-load setting that permits you to preserve RAM by loading samples out of your exhausting drive into reminiscence as you play. Then there’s the flexibility to detach the participant window (nice for multi-monitor setups) or the brand new description panel that particulars learn how to get the utmost expression from every instrument.
Whereas looking and including native content material stays largely unchanged from the outdated Play Engine, Opus’ new database function is a gigantic, industry-leading step ahead.
Now, any instrument patch from throughout the whole EastWest library could be immediately demoed and individually downloaded. Gone are the times whenever you needed to await an entire assortment to obtain in order that you may entry the one flute patch you wanted. It’s maybe not as thrilling as among the different updates, however it’s simply so rattling helpful that it is perhaps my favorite factor about Opus.
The Opus Engine: Participant
The gamers new UI is modern and intuitive but pleasingly acquainted. Important sections like reverb, efficiency and envelope are nonetheless in roughly the identical places, however there are just a few new and notable appearances.
Opus introduces the Temper buttons, which can be found on the Diamond Version or Composer Cloud Plus variations of the library. Titled Basic, Smooth, and Epic, every temper button will rebalance the microphone mix, tweak the reverb settings, and add an applicable efficiency approach to no matter instrument you might have loaded. Nevertheless, that’s not all. In accordance with EastWest, the Temper buttons additionally tweak the speed layers, favouring samples that match the general vibe.
Whereas the Temper buttons let you make huge, broad sonic adjustments with a single click on, Opus concurrently gives a great deal of versatility for many who wish to get underneath the hood and customise issues.
In relation to necessities like keyswitching, you might have unrestricted entry to set any word you want for altering articulations. There are additionally choices for controlling keyswitches by way of MIDI controller and even velocity. There’s a brand new MIDI Management panel in the primary participant window, and this makes reconfiguring controller assignments for efficiency strategies and dynamics a breeze. Clicking on the Automation tab brings up a macro part permitting you to simply management a number of parameters, every with customized scaling, from one slider.
Lastly, the mixer tab now encompasses a significantly expanded record of plug-ins to play with, including results like distortion and flangers to extra normal fare like compressors and EQs when mixing your devices.
Orchestrator: Who wants idea anyway?
Included within the Opus Version of Hollywood Orchestra is the Orchestrator plug-in – a genius piece of software program that’s positive to turn into many a producers’ responsible pleasure.
Orchestrator pulls collectively all of the devices out there within the Hollywood Orchestra and distils them into ready-made preparations in numerous basic movie scoring types. Load up a rating preset, maintain down a chord, and a full, wealthy orchestral texture greets you. The plug-in routinely selects the optimum voicings for as much as 16 devices throughout the orchestral sections. It selects articulations to evoke a particular cinematic model and pairs this with rhythmic ostinatos to finish the image.
For individuals with little or no background in orchestral writing, it’s now potential to get one thing that sounds awfully near a typical Hollywood movie rating by merely urgent just a few notes. In fact, on the flip facet, the hazard of churning out drained and cliché orchestral tropes has by no means been higher.
Nevertheless, fortunately, this instrument is not only a get-out-of-jail-free card for first-year music college students. As soon as you progress previous the flashy presets, the Orchestrator plug-in is a genuinely highly effective musical instrument and an enormous time saver – even in the event you had been solely to make use of it for rapidly loading up and trialling totally different instrumental ensembles.
If you have already got a Composer Cloud subscription, then Christmas has come very early certainly – the brand new Opus engine eclipses the outdated Play engine in each approach. The brand new library content material is superb, and the orchestra’s sound feels way more spectacular.
Equally, if you’re presently contemplating investing in an orchestral library, there has by no means been a greater time to leap into the EastWest ecosystem. Nevertheless, in the event you’ve already bought the earlier library outright, the query is a bit trickier. The sounds are higher, sure, however the true star of the present is the incredible new Opus engine – and is that value the price of repurchasing the whole library? In all probability not.
However, with Opus, EastWest has struck a fragile stability between pro-user customisation choices and speedy ‘it simply sounds good’ instruments like Moods and Orchestrator. All of the minor tweaks and enhancements cumulatively end in a streamlined person expertise and an enormous step ahead within the usability of the whole EastWest assortment.
- MacOS 10.13+, Home windows 10 (64-bit) with ASIO sound drivers
- 4-core 2.7GHz CPU (8 really useful), 16GB (32 really useful)
- SSD Drive
- 130GB of latest content material
- Recorded at EastWest Studios, Hollywood
- Vastly improved woodwind part
- Hollywood Orchestrator creates stylistic preparations
- New mixer part results
- 500 presets
- Obtainable in VST 2, VST 3, AU and AAX format